ANDHRA PRADESH

Polling time extended at 108 places in Kurnool

Special Correspondent

Seventy polling stations in Banaganapalli constituency fall short of staff

KURNOOL: Polling was peaceful in Kurnool district barring a few incidents in Banaganapalli constituency and other places on Thursday.

The district administration received a rude jolt when 70 polling stations in Banaganapalli constituency fell short of staff. Even though the administration made alternate arrangement, polling could not be held at five places which would go for repolling.

The places where repolling ordered was Nandipadu(13), Gorivimanupalli (14 and 15), Kanakadripalli (31) and Mangampalli (4). At Nandipadu, presiding officer could not be posted.

According to reports, on receiving the information of staff shortage, Collector Mukesh Kumar Meena rushed to the place on Wednesday night and made arrangements on a war-footing through out the night. He could mobilise the staff for the 70 polling stations by morning but most of them were untrained.

The ill-equipped staff could not manage the situation at several places. Polling began late at 27 places in the constituency. The authorities decided to extend the polling hours beyond 5 pm allowing all voters who turned up before the deadline.

The breakdown of EVMs caused commotion in the early hours as the authorities received complaints from over 50 places. At some places, the staff started problem while at other places there was some technical snag that delayed the polling. In all, polling was extended beyond the deadline at 108 places.

Meanwhile, violence erupted at Owk when Congress MLA Challa Ramakrishna Reddy and his son Challa Bhagirathi Reddy manhandled the woman agent of Praja Rajyam candidate. The presspersons were also assaulted when they tried to videograph the incident.

At Sivarampuram in Kodumur constiutency, two groups clashed leading to damaging of the Electronic Voting Machine. Technician from the headquarters rushed to the place and restored the polling.

At Motkapalli in Srisailam constituency, trouble started when a police officer spoke harsh words against Sailaja, wife of TDP candidate Budda Rajasekhar Reddy.

MLA detained

The TDP supporters detained E. Pratap Reddy, MLA, elsewhere holding him responsible for the incident.

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